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The Kahramanmaras Earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on February 6th, 2023.

Photo Credit: Global Empowerment Mission [GEM]

On the early morning of February 6th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria just after 4 a.m. The earthquake struck just 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, Gaziantep Province, and at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey. Nurdaği is located along the Turkey-Syria border, and the quake was felt in several countries across the region, including Syria and Lebanon.

The death toll topped over 37,000, as of February 16th, and deaths have been reported in cities including Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Tartus. Many people in these countries are trapped underneath destroyed buildings. Turkey's president, Erdoğan, declared a 3 month state of emergency due to the earthquake and the destruction which it caused.

The question that many people ask is how did this happen? As you may know, Turkey, similar to California and Crete, is seismically active. Turkey is located on the Anatolian Plateau, a tectonic plate that rubs against the Anatolian Plate. The Eastern fault is a strike-slip fault, hence why it builds a LOT of pressure and eventually releases that pressure in the form of an earthquake. Strike-slip faults are dangerous, and typically precautions must be made to prevent infrastructure from being destroyed.

The other fault is the Northern fault between the Anatolia and the Eurasian plate. This is a much larger fault where strike-slips tend to progress along the fault from east to west. For now, the priority is to help those in need and alleviate the issues that the earthquake has caused. After that, it’s important that the countries affected install preventative measures to ensure that when another earthquake occurs, the people will be prepared!

For those who are outside of Turkey and wish to help, the most effective way is to make a donation to a reputable disaster relief organization. You can also support by spreading awareness and accurate information about the situation to help mobilize support from others.

Donation Links: (USD, EUR, TRY, GBP).

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